<![CDATA[Azarius News]]> http://azarius.es/news/ The Very Advanced, Utterly Cool, Super Duper Azarius RSS Generator v2.34.445 info@azarius.net (azarius.net) <![CDATA[Dutch Public Holidays]]> http://azarius.es/news/352/Dutch_Public_Holidays/ This month we'll have a couple of public holidays in the Netherlands. On those days we're off duty.

On May 5 we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. In Dutch we call it 'Hemelvaartsdag'. May 5 is also Liberation Day, so there are plenty of music festivals to keep us entertained. On this day we do not sent out any packages or emails, meaning processing of your order can take a bit longer than it normally does.

Our offline shop in the city center will be OPEN.

On May 16 it's the second day of Pentecost. If you're not aChristian you may not have heard of it, and even if you are one that may still be the case. But it's another day off so we can't complain. We hope you won't either. This Monday we are closed.

Our offline shop in the city center will be OPEN.

Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/352/Dutch_Public_Holidays/
<![CDATA[Soon in Amsterdam: Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelics Research]]> http://azarius.es/news/772/Soon_in_Amsterdam__Interdisciplinary_Conference_on_Psychedelics_Research/ While psychedelics research was more of a niche within science in the sixties and seventies (you may have heard of the Good Friday experiment?), more recently, it has grown a solid scientific basis. Research into the effects, mechanics of action and potential therapeutic use currently takes place at renowned institutes such as the Imperial College in London, Yale University, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and New York University.

This month, for example, groundbreaking research on the effects of LSD using brain scans was published.

Amsterdam is one of the few European cities that offers a platform for these researchers, by hosting the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelics Research 2016 on 3 – 5 June.

ICPR 2016 - 3/4/5 June, Amsterdam

During this three-day event, more than fifty international and national researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines will present their findings on the uses and (therapeutic) effects of psychedelic substances such as LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, MDMA, ibogaïne and ketamine.

The larger part of research focuses on therapeutic uses in patients who suffer from depression, addiction, PTSD and anxiety disorders (such as end-of- life anxiety and social anxiety).

See the full list of speakers: www.icpr2016.nl/speakers

ICPR 2016 is the third scientific congress on psychedelics organised by the OPEN Foundation. The congress is sponsored by OSF, MAPS and the Beckley Foundation.

Get tickets: www.icpr2016.nl/tickets

Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/772/Soon_in_Amsterdam__Interdisciplinary_Conference_on_Psychedelics_Research/
<![CDATA[Skate, film and win!]]> http://azarius.es/news/771/Skate_film_and_win/ Azarius ♥ skateboarding. Our team has been waiting forever to see the sick stuff you fellow skateboarders are capable of, so we decided to launch the very first skateboarding contest in Azarius history.

Do you know how to ride a skateboard (or, even better, how to kickflip)? Do you know how to push the video button on your (phone’s) camera? Congratulations then, you can enter our competition!

Skate, film and win!

skateboard azarius

How to participate?

To participate, upload a video of yourself skateboarding to our Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram page. Add hashtag #azarius360 and mention @azariusshop.

At the end of the contest we’ll pick a winner for:

  • The sickest trick
  • The most creative video
  • The best blooper

The winners will receive a pair of Azarius skate shoes*, a custom made Azarius skateboard deck and a box filled with goodies.

This contest runs through April and May so the last day to submit your video will be 31st of May 2016. The winners will be announced in the second week of June.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out of your cave, trim your beard and start filming!

* Available shoe sizes:
size 41 (8), size 42 (8,5), size 42,5 (9), size 43 (9,5), size 44 (10), size 45 (11)

The rules

  • One entry per person
  • Maximum video length of 60 seconds
  • Entries should not contain content that violates any law
  • No violent or otherwise inappropriate videos
  • Video's can be submitted via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@azariusshop, #azarius360)
  • Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging
  • Winners will be published on our website and social media in the second week of June
  • Azarius is not responsible for any injuries incurred during skateboarding
  • We reserve the right to exclude videos from entry if the rules are not met
  • By entering the contest we assume you've read & agreed to these rules

skateboard azarius]]>
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/771/Skate_film_and_win/
<![CDATA[Kingsday – Azarius closed]]> http://azarius.es/news/686/Kingsday___Azarius_closed/ All of Netherlands will colour orange again on Wednesday. Whether we celebrate or not, we will be out of office for sure.

This means Azarius is closed on 27 April. As we’re busy dressing up as orange bunnies, shrooms and the like, there will be no-one here to answer your phone calls or emails and we don’t send any packages this day.

Our offline store in the Kerkstraat will be closed as well.

Hangover or not, on Thursday we will completely be at your service again!

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/686/Kingsday___Azarius_closed/
<![CDATA[Job offer: Web & content manager]]> http://azarius.es/news/766/Job_offer__Web__content_manager/ Want to work at Azarius? Here's your chance!

We’re looking for a motivated all-round web manager who’s passionate about usability, web analytics and SEO. Do you have at least a couple of years of professional, hands-on experience with conversion optimisation, online trends, SEO and web analytics, read on!

For our webshops and information websites we’re looking for a person who takes full ownership for the performance of these websites for the benefit of sales and marketing. This means you are responsible for the following:

  • Adding new products, blogs, flat pages to our websites
  • Planning for all text, photo and video production
  • Usability and user experience (design, navigation, video, reviews, payment process, …)
  • Analysis, evaluation and optimisation based on visitor’s behaviour and web analytics
  • SEO: research, assessment and execution of optimisations
  • Constant research into new functionalities, technologies and services
  • Planning and project management of all implementations

Bonus points for candidates with:

  • Web design and CSS experience
  • Experience with several content management systems
  • Writing flawless copy in Dutch, Native English or knowledge of other languages (FR, DE, IT)
  • Extreme accurateness
  • Knowledge of our products
  • A pet goat

Apart from your role as content manager and website coordinator, ideally you’re able to carry out many implementations and optimisations yourself. This may include the redesign of a page, setting up an A/B test or other tasks such as adapting pages for SEO.

We offer

  • The chance to be part of the growth of leading smart and vaporizershops
  • Flexibility: working partially from home and freelancing are possible
  • Working hours to be discussed (estimated at 3-4 days)
  • A competitive salary
  • Work in an international team with open minded Azarians
  • Gain insight in various upcoming businesses such as cannabusiness, coin payments, affiliate marketing and online smartshops
  • Weekly drinks on Friday and too cool for school parties from time to time

Send your CV and motivation to jakobien@azarius.net

Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/766/Job_offer__Web__content_manager/
<![CDATA[Dutch and Spanish cannabis genetics combined: Exotic Seed]]> http://azarius.es/news/773/Dutch_and_Spanish_cannabis_genetics_combined__Exotic_Seed/ Exotic Seed combines the qualities of Dutch and Spanish genetics creating unique and innovative cannabis seed. The breeders have over 20 years of experience working for some of Europe's main seed labels. Now is the time to show the world what they're capable of!

Here at Azarius we love the creativity that resonates from Exotic Seed. Check the wonderful strain variety names like Sir Jack and Spicy Bitch. Packaging and brand identity were designed by Amsterdam based artist Pieter van Tongeren and look as if they come are straight from a fairy tale!

exotic seeds

Colourful strains and innovative seed varieties

We've spotted some outstanding colourful varieties, such as the resinous, purple shaded Black Haze (autoflowering) and the aromatic Exotic Colours (feminized) which we found to be very harmonious and relaxing after a long workday (oh yes, even at Azarius workdays can be long).

View all strains by Exotic Seed

Exotic Seed uses innovation to make a difference in the international cannabis seed community and shape the next generations of cannabis seed: feminized, auto flowering, fast versions.

What are you looking for in future generations cannabis seeds? Let us know in the comments!

Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/773/Dutch_and_Spanish_cannabis_genetics_combined__Exotic_Seed/
<![CDATA[The wonders of lucid dreaming]]> http://azarius.es/news/769/The_wonders_of_lucid_dreaming/ Are you dreaming?

It seems like a silly question and you probably jumped to the conclusion that you're in fact awake, but how do you know for sure?

Questioning reality is one of the many tricks an oneironaut (dream astronaut) employs on his or her voyage to lucid dreams.

Lucid dreaming?

Lucid dreaming refers to the experience (and ability) of being aware while you're dreaming. Instead of following a fixed 'dream script', a lucid dream allows you to do anything you want. The only limit is your imagination.

You can fly around your city, talk to old friends and relatives, play the action hero or talk to dream characters and possibly gain some insight into your psyche. In short: fun!

Some of the greatest scientific minds of the twentieth century didn't believe in lucid dreams and for a long time, the study of dreams was the laughing stock of the academic community. Mankind invented the air plane and flew in real life, before science was able to acknowledge the existence of lucid dreams. How sad is that?

Fortunately, the last few decades it has become a valid field of research and as we're learning more about the brain, we're slowly but surely also learning more about the art of dreaming.

Cool, how do I start lucid dreaming?

That's a simple question and a really long answer. We've gathered some tips 'n tricks for you in our latest encyclopaedia article: lucid dreaming.

There are all kinds of techniques with cool acronyms such as WILD or MILD. If you're new to lucid dreaming, it will take some experimentation to find what works best for you, but remember that it's a skill. A skill can be acquired and honed, much like cooking, balancing the hot and cold shower tap or belching the national anthem.

The SSILD technique

We'd like to mention one dream technique in particular: SSILD. It stands for Senses Induced Lucid Dreaming. SSILD combines a few techniques, is fairly easy to perform (especially if you're familiar with meditation) and most importantly can produce results quickly.

SSILD works with cycles of three easy steps that you check: sight, sound and touch.

Sight: with eyes closed, focus on what you see. This sounds vague, but the key is to let something develop naturally. Don't try to see anything, don't visualize, just relax and observe. If you don't see anything at all, that's fine.

Sound: the same deal, but this time you focus on your hearing. It could be a sound outside your bedroom window or the sound of your breathing. Don't worry if you don't hear anything.

Touch: now you focus on your body. do you feel any sensations? Tingling? Lightness or heaviness? Imagine going from your toes to your head and just sense your own body.

The goal is not to experience any particular sensation. Just check these three senses while lying in a relaxed position.

SSILD is a technique that you perform in the middle of the night. Set your alarm to wake up after four or five hours of sleep. Get up and out of bed for a few minutes. If you have trouble falling asleep, keep it short. If you fall asleep too quickly, you can wake up a bit more, but you don't want to be fully awake.

Go back to bed and perform a complete cycle: sight, sound, touch. Do this quickly and 4 - 6 times in a row. Remember it's okay to not see, hear or feel anything in particular. This is just the warm-up.

If you're comfortable with the cycles, it's time to slow them down. Each step of the slow cycle should take at least 30 seconds. Perform 3 - 4 slow cycles and afterwards, assume whatever position you're most comfortable with and fall asleep as you normally would.

And that's it, in a nutshell! At first you're probably either fall asleep too quickly without performing enough cycles or, worse, lose some sleep because you're too awake. Feel free to adapt the basic concept to your sleep schedule.

After doing this for a while, most people will begin to see things, hear strange noises and even experience the sensation of floating while performing the cycles.

It may take some nights before you start seeing results. Keep at it.

For more information on this remarkable technique, read inventor Cosmic Iron's blog on SSILD.

Beware of false awakenings

One pitfall of SSILD is the fact that it leads to many false awakenings (FA's). An FA is when you think you wake up in your bed and believe you've failed, when in fact you're dreaming it. These are often very realistic.

Keep this in mind when you're trying SSILD and always perform a reality check when waking up.

Herb assisted lucid dreaming

Lucid dreaming isn't always easy, but our smartshop offers help in the form of herbs and supplements that make your dreams more vivid and increase your chances of becoming lucid.

What's important to remember is that dream herbs are, despite their name, not a guaranteed success. There's not a single product available that can guarantee lucid dreams 100% of the time. Instead, consider them your training wheels and keep on practising one of the myriad of techniques out there.

Bon voyage and sweet dreams!

Keep reading dreaming

Azarius encyclopaedia: lucid dreaming.

Sun, 03 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/769/The_wonders_of_lucid_dreaming/
<![CDATA[Decriminalising drugs global report 2016]]> http://azarius.es/news/767/Decriminalising_drugs_global_report_2016/ In 1961, the UN signed the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, ushering in an era of aggressive enforcement of drug-related crimes around the globe; the war on drugs. For over five decades now, governments and law enforcement agencies have been fighting drug production, use and possession at the staggering estimated cost of $100 billion annually.

The result? Not even the slightest bit of success. In fact, according to this graph in the 2015 World Drug Report by the UNODC, drug use has risen by nearly 20% between 2006 and 2013. It's clear the old methods aren't working.

World Drug Report 2015 - infographic

This is nothing new, of course. We've reported before how this war has failed. But now, the recently released second edition of ‘A Quiet Revolution: Drug Decriminalisation Across the Globe’ supports our view with studies and cold hard facts.

Case study per country

The full report lists the decriminalisation systems used by various countries around the globe. It's an interesting read and it paints a picture of the slow but sure realisation that legalising the personal use of drugs does not in fact cause more harm than strictly prohibiting drug use. That's where the term 'quiet revolution' stems from.

Dutch drug policy

We were of course quite curious what the report had to say about our neck of the woods. The Netherlands has long had a reputation for tolerant drug policies, but let us assure you that's not the feeling the average drug-minded Dutchman has lately.

In 1976, Dutch laws created a subdivision of drugs (hard drugs and soft drugs) in order to separate the cannabis market from the more harmful drugs. A few interesting quotes:

"One study demonstrated that the removal of prohibitions on cannabis has not led to an explosion of drug use and that particular policies do not have much of an impact on rates of drug use."

"Another concluded that there is no evidence that the decriminalisation component of the 1976 policy increased levels of cannabis use."

"Between 1979 and 1994, the prevalence of ‘hard-drug’ use in the Netherlands decreased from 15 per cent to 2.5 per cent, indicating no compelling correlation between decriminalisation and increased prevalence of drug use."

The report goes on to mention the shifting climate in recent years, with initiatives such as the weed pass, summing up our gut feeling about changing times with the following:

"The current debate in the Netherlands is about whether or not to regulate cultivation and supply of cannabis to coffee shops. the problems are rooted in the paradox that at the front door, the sale and possession of small quantities are not prosecuted, while at the back door supply (cultivation and trade) is still fully criminalised."

With countries such as the US taking great steps towards decriminalisation state by state, it's weird to feel like the Netherlands are going backwards. As always, we'll keep you updated on new developments.

Decriminalisation pays

The core of the report is this: decriminalisation has not been the disaster many predicted and continue to predict. Countries with some of the harshest criminalisation systems have some of the highest prevalence rates of drug use in the world, and countries with decriminalisation systems have some of the lowest prevalence rates.

It's time to learn this lesson and adopt a new global policy.

decriminalisation of drug use infographic infographic - legalizing drugs saves moneys


www.release.org.uk - A Quiet Revolution: Drug Decriminalisation Across the Globe 2016

Wed, 30 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/767/Decriminalising_drugs_global_report_2016/
<![CDATA[Food for thought: nootropics]]> http://azarius.es/news/762/Food_for_thought__nootropics/ The term 'smart drugs' makes it sounds like the products you buy in a smartshop make you smarter. In reality, most items won't have a positive impact on your cognitive abilities.

Quite the contrary; substances with a sedating or hallucinogenic effect actually temporarily decrease your cognition. Stimulating drugs can help to increase your concentration, but these can't be taken regularly due to side effects.

How nootropics work

But there are substances you can take that make you smarter and without any nasty side effects, which makes them safe for long-term use. These are called nootropics (confusingly enough sometimes also called smart drugs). Nootropic substances can operate in a number of ways.

Some work by increasing blood flow or flow of oxygen to the brain. Others target specific receptors that release vital neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine en glutamate. A neurotransmitter acts as a chemical messenger and is essential to a healthy, functioning brain.

If the neurotransmitters in your brain are properly balanced, you're able to perform cognitive tasks more rapidly. Nootropics essentially help to improve your brain balance.

nootropics in Limitless

Types of nootropics

Certain herbs, nutritional supplements, but also medication can have nootropic effects. Pharmaceutical nootropics are specifically developed as medicine for people suffering from dementia.

Unfortunately the current nootropics have limited effect and more work needs to be done to create a medicine that can truly combat dementia.

Nootropics in smartshops

Azarius offers several kinds of nootropics, including ginkgo biloba extract.

Also available: DMAE. This substance is a precursor to acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter that's vital for regular brain function. If you take DMAE, the acetylcholine level in your brain will rise, which improves your memory and ability to concentrate.

Smartshops also sell products that help you concentrate, but these formulas often contain caffeine and can't be seen as a pure nootropic. This is because caffeine has side effects and shouldn't be taken in very high amounts.

smart drugs

A nootropic is something that has more subtle effects on your brain's biochemistry. Therefore, you need to take a nootropic for an extended period of time for the effects to become apparent.

Have a look in the nootropics category to view our selection of herbs and supplements.

More information?

Would you like to learn more about nootropic products? Read our latest encyclopaedia article on Nootropics. Here we explain how nootropics function, how to use them and what the effects are.

Sat, 26 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/762/Food_for_thought__nootropics/
<![CDATA[The long, dark night: 10 sleep disorders]]> http://azarius.es/news/768/The_long_dark_night__10_sleep_disorders/ You're supposed to feel safe in bed at night, but this list of weird and scary sleeping disorders might just make you appreciate daytime a bit more.

10. Kleine-Levin Syndrome

KLS is also referred to as the sleeping beauty syndrome. It's a rare disorder linked to excessive amounts of sleep. We didn't even know it was possible to sleep too much, but there you have it.

It leads to people feeling drowsy and confused, sometimes for weeks or months at the time. Imagine feeling like you just got out of the bed, only the feeling doesn't seem to go away.

9. Sleepwalking

Some people just can't stay still and get up in the middle of the night without actually waking up. Usually it's kind of fun, such as taking a short walk around the house, but sometimes people try to drive or cook while sleepwalking, which can quickly become very dangerous.

It's reported that up to 15% of adults suffer from the sleepwalking disorder and for children it's an even higher percentage.

8. Sleep paralysis

This is one of the scariest sleep disorders to experience. When the body falls asleep, the brain switches your voluntary muscles 'off', to prevent you from acting out your dreams.

It's possible to wake up while in this paralysed state and be essentially trapped in your own body. You're mentally awake but can't speak or move your arms and legs. To make matters worse, this is usually accompanied by a strong feeling of dread and possibly hallucinations.

Many scientists suspect that stories of alien abductions are in fact episodes of severe sleep paralysis.

7. Exploding head syndrome

The name sounds terrible but it's actually one of the more benign sleep disorders. It's characterized hearing loud imagined noises, usually during the onset of sleep.

There's no pain or danger involved and it doesn't seem to be associated to any particular illness. But we imagine it does lead to crankiness to hear a bomb go off just when you're about to fall asleep...

6. Hypnagogic hallucinations

This disorder is somewhat related to exploding head syndrome. Hypnagogia refers to the state between wakefulness and sleep. You can start to see and hear things which aren't there - like dreaming, but you're technically still awake. A common hallucination is seeing bugs crawling up the wall. Yikes.

A few of these hallucinations is nothing to worry about, but for some people it can lead to drowsiness during daytime and impact their day to day life.

5. Binge eating disorder

Also called nocturnal eating disorder. As the name implies, this disorder leads people to raid the kitchen in the middle of the night and stuff themselves full of food. Most people don't remember their snackmania the following morning, so it seems to be a type of sleepwalking.

If you find yourself mysteriously getting fatter and losing chocolate chip cookies left and right, you may just be a night eater.

4. Sexsomnia

Also called sleep sex, a condition in which a person will engage in sexual activities while asleep. Though it sounds like a fairly harmless disorder, it can lead to self-injury and even sexual assault.

This disorder is related to sleep deprivation, alcohol and drugs, but no one knows why some people respond to these triggers with sexual behaviour.

3. REM behavior disorder

REM behavior disorder (RBD) is like a reverse sleep paralysis. Instead of the body shutting down, the muscles remain active and you act out all your dreams in real life, which can lead to injuries to self or to bed partner.

RBD occurs most often among older adults, and it can be a symptom of Parkinson's disease, a degenerative neurological disorder.

2. Night terrors

Not to be confused with nightmares which arise during REM sleep, night terrors happen during non-REM sleep, usually early in the night. They're most common in children. The person in the midst of a terror may suddenly sit upright, eyes open, though they aren't actually taking in the sights. The person often yells or screams, and can't be awakened or comforted.

1. Insomnia

The most common sleeping disorder is simply the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for an adequate time. While most people suffer from the occasional sleepless night due to illness or stress, if you have insomnia for an extended period of time it can quite severely impact your quality of life. Symptoms include lack of concentration and irritability.

A healthy night's rest

If you suspect you're suffering from one of these disorders, please consult your doctor. Most, if not all of them, can be treated with medication.

One supplement that can help balance your sleep cycle is melatonin. Read more about it in the Azarius encyclopaedia.

Thu, 24 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0100http://azarius.es/news/768/The_long_dark_night__10_sleep_disorders/